Cash used to be King, until digital came along. Luckily, sex workers do accept payments in the form of Venmo and Crypto currency. But money isn’t the only thing that has since become modernized. With the arrival of the internet, the landscape of dating was forever changed. Sure, it added new layers of convenience and it also exposed you to singles (and some that were just pretending to be single), from all over the country.
But everything isn’t all peachy keen with dating on the internet. With people hiding behind a computer or their phone, trolls have been able to create whatever identity they want. Unfortunately, people who were either looking for love or lust — have fallen victim to catfishing. So here are some obvious (and not so obvious) tips to avoid being catfished.
GUT FEELING – Listen, you’re intuition will never let you down! 9 times out of 10, if your gut feeling is telling you that something about this online interaction seems off — it usually is! Whether it’s an online dating site or one of these instant gratification apps, if you find yourself constantly questioning things, spare yourself the frustration and embarrassment. Your time is being wasted, just go ahead and block their ass.
PICTURES – Every single phone that is in use today, has some sort of a camera built in. And if their phone doesn’t, their laptop does. So not being able to send current images and/or videos of yourself — is a horrible sign. If the images they do send look old or pixelated, they’re either fake pictures or very outdated. I’ve had many different experiences where someone has said “these are all the pictures that I have” or “I have to wait to take some because I’m at XYZ right now”, — go ahead and block their ass. There’s no reason why someone shouldn’t be able to send you new images of themselves in order to prove their identity, unless they have something to hide. I’ve learned to look at their fashions to see if it’s an older/outdated style, the decor of ones home and comparing those nude pictures to see if they’re all similar — all in an effort to confirm if it’s their actual images. Fellas, you damn near need a magnifying glass to examine their nudes. Make sure there is consistency in the pictures they send. Does the dick look the same in each photo? Check the circumcision line, are the pubes the same texture, is the mole on their left ass cheek present in every photo? Don’t get fooled out of desperation and sexual urges. But again, the biggest red flag here is if they simply don’t have any new images to send at your request, just plain old excuses.
ONLINE PRESENCE – This may be more reserved for long term dating intentions. But long story short, if the person you’re dating online doesn’t have any sort of an online presence — from Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn or any other established social platform, then something is up. These days, pretty much everyone is “google-able”. So why is it that your John or Jane Doe can’t be found at all? As Housewives of Atlanta alumni Phaedra Parks would say, “something ain’t right in the buttermilk.” If there is absolutely no online presence, bitch log off and run!
FLAKING – All talk and no action! What more of a red flag do you need? Even if everything seems to be going well… you have a good feeling about this person and they seem to check out on paper — why is it that every time you try to meet up with them, they always have some sort of damn excuse? There are people that get off on interacting with others online, just to waste their time. Don’t allow that person to be you. If they do a blatant “no call, no show”, and they completely stand you up after days/weeks or even months of talking — then you absolutely need to move on. And maybe put a hex on them. But if they cancel at the last minute on a date or no strings attached meet-up, you have to use your judgment on whether you think you should give them another chance. Life happens, so something could’ve very well came up at the last minute (for them) as to where they could no longer meet. Was their excuse valid? Did they seem genuine? Profusely apologized and try to make plans to reschedule your date? Then maybe hear them out. But we’re not waiting for three strikes here to call them out. If they repeat their behavior on the second attempt to meet by flaking on you again, cut their ass off. People make time to see the people that they want to see. They will absolutely find a way to connect with you. So if the person you’re trying to connect with from online is simply full of excuses, chances are he/she/they are full of shit. I can’t help to think that they’ve mastered their catfishing capabilities online but there’s simply no way to pull the rabbit out of the hat in person.
INAPPROPRIATE REQUESTS – Please don’t let your pursuit of happiness and love, allow you to play a damn fool. Whether you think this will be the next love of your life or just the next booty call, the person you’re interacting with shouldn’t ask you for a single thing! Especially if they haven’t even met you in person yet. There are many different examples I can present here — from cash to flights to inappropriate requests that they may need present before they can agree to meet (on your dime). Nobody should feel bold enough to ask you for such things. If they do, they have a catfish spirit! They have the qualities and traits of one who may catfish. Whatever the case, they are certainly communicating with the wrong intentions. And people like this will do nothing short of getting what they have to do, to get whatever they can out of you.
YOU ARE NOT ALONE – A new study shows Florida is the No. 2 most catfished state with 1,738 victims losing a record $70 million in 2021, up from $40 million in 2020. Nationally, a record $547 million was lost to romance scams, up from $304 million. Despite government warnings and shows like Netflix’ Tinder Swindler raising pop culture awareness, romance scams have become the No. 1 type of fraud recorded by the FTC with victims losing a staggering $1.5 billion in the last five years. SocialCatfish.com today released a study on the Most Catfished States in 2021 using FBI and FTC data released in March and February of 2022.
- Florida: The average victim in the state lost $40,554 last year.
- Top Five States: California ($184 million stolen), Florida ($70 million), Texas ($65 million), New York ($58 million), and Washington ($32 million).
- Bottom Five Places: Maine ($386,894 stolen), Vermont ($528,709), D.C. ($861,723), New Hampshire ($1 million), and Arkansas ($1.2 million).
- Only 7 states and D.C. lost less money to romance scams than they did in 2020.
SO MUCH TO LEARN – If I sat here and tried to list all of the red flags that are out there, a month of Sundays would have passed on by before I even get halfway through it! Go with your gut feeling, don’t be gullible and use that zoom feature on your phone when it comes to pictures if need be. Let karma handle those that are out here taking advantage of people by catfishing them — but you, keep all of the aforementioned in mind and BLOCK accordingly. Happy hunting.